This is recipe marks our first contribution from Colleen of the family food blog, Foodie Tots. We love her creative, healthy take on the types of salads that are usually crammed full not so healthy additives. Welcome to the team, Colleen!
When I think about mushrooms, the first recipes that come to mind are usually heavier comfort dishes: hearty soups, creamy risotto, or rich pastas. With Memorial Day just around the corner, ushering in the summer picnic season, I thought I’d create a lighter dish. This Mediterranean-inspired, family-friendly mushroom salad is a hearty filling for sandwiches, perfect for a meal on the go.
I tried to include the same elements that make a good chicken salad: something sweet, something crunchy, and no mayo (personal preference). In this recipe, sundried tomatoes lend a sweet burst of flavor and will tide you over until tomatoes are in season later in the summer. (The tomatoes also add visual appeal for kids, who are often tempted by more colorful foods.) Walnuts add the critical crunch, and you could up the protein content with some fresh mozzarella, too.
And should your picnic get rained out, you can take comfort in knowing that you’re still getting Vitamin D from the mushrooms.
When cooking mushrooms, use a large pan and try to keep them in a single layer. For this recipe, you may need to cook them in two batches.
Stir only once or twice, and cook until mushrooms are browned and just tender.
Mediterranean Mushroom Salad Croissants
Makes filling for 4-6 sandwiches
For the salad:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound cremini mushrooms
1 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
6-8 leaves fresh basil
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon pomegranate balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
For the sandwiches:
4 large croissants
1 cup baby spinach
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium low heat.
2. Clean the mushrooms gently with a damp paper towel. Cut in half lengthwise, then cut halves into quarters. Smaller mushrooms can simply be quartered; you want pieces about 1/4-inch thick.
3. Cook the mushrooms until browned and tender, about 10 minutes, stirring only once or twice. You may want to cook them in two batches, as they’ll brown better in a single layer.
4. While the mushrooms cook, coarsely chop sundried tomatoes, walnuts and basil. Place in a mixing bowl.
5. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a separate small bowl, set aside.
6. Combine cooked mushrooms with the tomato, walnut and basil mixture. Add dressing and toss gently to combine. Let rest 10 minutes for flavors to meld.
7. To assemble sandwiches, slice croissants in half. Arrange a handful of spinach leaves on bottom half, then top with a generous helping of mushroom salad. Place second half of croissant on top, slice in half, and wrap up to go. Enjoy!
Editor’s Note: This recipe is vegan, simply change the suggested croissant service for a favorite vegan bread or a bed of mixed greens.